How Cultural Differences Can Improve Your Business Results

2021-12-28
How Cultural Differences Can Improve Your Business Results

Is the pandemic pushed you to look for global opportunities? But do you understand cultural differences in workplaces and how they can affect your transformation? It doesn’t matter if your business is small or large, intercultural differences will occur. In generally it is a great thing – cultural exchange can be even more rewarding if teams focus on maintaining culture in the workplace. Let’s talk about five benefits and challenges of cultural differences.

Prejudice can become a barrier

Though employees from different cultures can bring original ideas and different approaches to the organizations, some cultural stereotypes and preconceptions still exist. The main challenges in the workplace can be a further understanding of professional etiquette and incompatible working style across teams. Also, it can be hard to keep appropriate professional communication – it can be misinterpreted or difficult to understand because of the language and culture barrier.

Cross-cultural teams are more productive

Despite that, there are many benefits to organizations. Working in a diverse workplace includes an opportunity to increase creativity and innovation. Also, because of the same reason, diverse teams are more productive and can perform better – by combining various skills and talents from all over the world, organizations can achieve the best results and offer a more adaptable range of products and services.

Helps the intention to understand each other

Cultural differences are things that separate people from different countries. They can be significant or barely noticeable and come out in simple topics such as food, language, clothing style, traditions, beliefs towards right or wrong, and many others. When seeking healthy and effective connections inside the business organization (as well as overall business success), understanding one another plays an essential role.

Five ways to win from cultural differences

  1. Look for a personality who can work in a culturally diverse environment

That could be people or internationally operating companies, which have a proven capability to work in a culturally diverse environment. One of the examples was the wholesale Swedish electronics system. In times of two clashing challenges – rapidly growing e-commerce and shortage of IT developers in Sweden, a Lithuanian company, „Adeoweb“ with an office in Stockholm, was chosen to solve the challenges. It worked well; a good understanding of local challenges helped develop functional solutions needed to simplify many daily processes.

  1. Discover unique employee talents

Even in the most challenging cases, all people do have their unique talents. Try to focus on finding those and employing the strengths of each team member, even if it requires re-shaping the ordinary structure of work. It will take pressure off from unnecessary cultural clashes and will give extra space for better team results.

  1. Advantage – culturally similar country

Choosing an employee or a partner from a somewhat culturally similar country creates fewer reasons for misunderstandings. In Sweden’s case, worth considering the Baltic Sea region or specific countries that Swedish companies have quite an experience with, like banking, customer service, and IT in Lithuania or Latvia.

  1. Make sure the colleagues understand you correctly

Communicating with people using simple words and avoiding slang may not always be as easy as it seems, especially under pressure. However, it’s crucial in building mutual trust and ensuring people understand things just the way it is. If in doubt, whether team members follow the information adequately, double-check my asking and explain again, if needed. These efforts will lead to mutual trust and the capability to work as a team later on.

  1. Get to know and respect traditional holidays

Culture plays a tremendous role in people’s identity. Therefore, acceptance and respect toward traditional holidays are also signs of inclusion, which is vital for satisfying business results.

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